Recommended Partitioning Scheme (/home) - Debian

This is a discussion on Recommended Partitioning Scheme (/home) - Debian ; I'm preparing a machine for a linux install. It has a 320 gig hard drive with the two windows Vista NTFS partitions plus a 20-gig FAT32 partition. I'm left with 130+ gigs on which I plan to install kubuntu, which ...

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Thread: Recommended Partitioning Scheme (/home)

  1. Recommended Partitioning Scheme (/home)

    I'm preparing a machine for a linux install. It has a 320 gig hard drive
    with the two windows Vista NTFS partitions plus a 20-gig FAT32
    partition. I'm left with 130+ gigs on which I plan to install kubuntu,
    which (I think) employees the Debian Sarge "engineering". I'm
    considering a partitioning scheme and would welcome opinions as to an
    optimum.

    Would it be advantageous to put /home on a separate partition, and if
    so, what size (as a percentage of 130 GIGs, one or possibly two users)?
    I'd like to be able to stay current on either ubuntu or debian and
    would not a separate /home partition make upgrades or fresh installs easier?

    Would there be other partitioning approaches worth discussing, such as
    /tmp or /usr? I'm not a system geek, just a programmer who's been using
    redhat and slackware for the last 7 years.

    So I'm open to any thoughts on this subject.

    thanks
    tim

  2. Re: Recommended Partitioning Scheme (/home)

    On 2007-04-22, Tim Johnson rambled on thusly:

    [snip]

    > Would it be advantageous to put /home on a separate partition, and if
    > so, what size (as a percentage of 130 GIGs, one or possibly two users)?
    > I'd like to be able to stay current on either ubuntu or debian and
    > would not a separate /home partition make upgrades or fresh installs easier?


    I recommend a separate /home partition so your data is completely separate from the
    rest of the OS. Having /home separate allows you to do fun things like
    totally nuke whatever distro you are using and change to another (this is
    what I did when I switched from Debian to Ubuntu).

    Remember that, even with today's monster apps for Linux, you won't need all
    that much space for the OS + apps. My current setup is about 25gb. 8 of
    that is for Ubuntu itself plus the apps I have installed, another 15 is
    games that I've installed (Quake 4, Unreal Tournament, Neverwinter Nights).

    Given your described usage, I wouldn't go much above 25gb for /, and use
    the rest for /home.

    > Would there be other partitioning approaches worth discussing, such as
    > /tmp or /usr? I'm not a system geek, just a programmer who's been using


    No, probably not. Unless you are going to do something like put your media
    files in /usr/share.

    --
    Michael Fierro (aka Biffster) biffster@NOSPAM-REALLYgmail.com
    http://apt-get.biffster.org Y!: miguelito_fierro AIM: mfierro1
    --
    "Look without the TARDIS, I feel rather lost . . . a stranger in a
    foreign land . . . a shipwrecked mariner."
    - Doctor Who

  3. Re: Recommended Partitioning Scheme (/home)

    Michael Fierro wrote:

    <...>
    > I recommend a separate /home partition so your data is completely separate from the
    > rest of the OS. Having /home separate allows you to do fun things like
    > totally nuke whatever distro you are using and change to another (this is
    > what I did when I switched from Debian to Ubuntu).
    >
    > Remember that, even with today's monster apps for Linux, you won't need all
    > that much space for the OS + apps. My current setup is about 25gb. 8 of
    > that is for Ubuntu itself plus the apps I have installed, another 15 is
    > games that I've installed (Quake 4, Unreal Tournament, Neverwinter Nights).
    >
    > Given your described usage, I wouldn't go much above 25gb for /, and use
    > the rest for /home.
    >
    >> Would there be other partitioning approaches worth discussing, such as
    >> /tmp or /usr? I'm not a system geek, just a programmer who's been using

    >
    > No, probably not. Unless you are going to do something like put your media
    > files in /usr/share.

    Thanks Michael
    cheers :-)
    tim

  4. Re: Recommended Partitioning Scheme (/home)

    Tim Johnson wrote:
    > I'm preparing a machine for a linux install. It has a 320 gig hard drive
    > with the two windows Vista NTFS partitions plus a 20-gig FAT32
    > partition. I'm left with 130+ gigs on which I plan to install kubuntu,
    > which (I think) employees the Debian Sarge "engineering". I'm
    > considering a partitioning scheme and would welcome opinions as to an
    > optimum.
    >
    > Would it be advantageous to put /home on a separate partition, and if
    > so, what size (as a percentage of 130 GIGs, one or possibly two users)?
    > I'd like to be able to stay current on either ubuntu or debian and
    > would not a separate /home partition make upgrades or fresh installs
    > easier?
    >
    > Would there be other partitioning approaches worth discussing, such as
    > /tmp or /usr? I'm not a system geek, just a programmer who's been using
    > redhat and slackware for the last 7 years.
    >
    > So I'm open to any thoughts on this subject.
    >
    > thanks
    > tim

    You might look into using LVM to manage the partition. This way you
    could allocate 40gb for the system, 40gb for /home, and keep the rest in
    reserve. LVM allows you to expand the partiton into the unused area of
    the disk later on. The debian installer will setup LVM for you, but you
    have to manually partition the disk. You select the 'lvm' option from
    the 'use partiton as' option, then 'setup lvm' and finally 'write to
    disk' All in the partition screen of the installer. It took me less
    than 1/2 an hour to partition my disks, set up raid1, set up lvm, and
    finally format the file systems. (raid1 is nice piece of mind).

  5. Re: Recommended Partitioning Scheme (/home)

    ken scharf wrote:

    > You might look into using LVM to manage the partition. This way you


    I want to use LVM for my future Debian GNU/Linux installations, and I
    would like all partitions (included /) to go into a single LVM (I want
    to have other three primary partitions for other operating systems
    (OpenBSD, NetBSD and FreeBSD). Is that possible?

    Every time I've tried to set up a box using LVM with / inside of it, I
    have ended up with a system which won't boot. A college of mine has
    told me that he has installed a box letting Debian to take care of the
    partitions and asking it to use LVM. He's got a primary / partition
    and a LVM on a different primary partition which contains all other
    ones (swap, /var, /tmp, /usr, /opt and /home). Is that the only
    possibility or is it possible to include / within the LVM?

    Thank you!

    --
    Saludos,
    Angel

  6. Re: Recommended Partitioning Scheme (/home)

    Angel () wrote:
    > ken scharf wrote:
    >> You might look into using LVM to manage the partition. This way you

    >
    > I want to use LVM for my future Debian GNU/Linux installations, and I
    > would like all partitions (included /) to go into a single LVM (I want
    > to have other three primary partitions for other operating systems
    > (OpenBSD, NetBSD and FreeBSD). Is that possible?


    You need a separate /boot partition outside of your LVM that includes
    the boot loader, the kernel, and an initrd image with programs to
    access the LVM. If you use Debian Etch, this will be taken care of
    automatically. I use a similar configuration on one machine, only that
    the root partition is not on an LVM but is encrypted using dm-crypt.

    regards
    Andreas Janssen

    --
    Andreas Janssen
    PGP-Key-ID: 0xDC801674 ICQ #17079270
    Registered Linux User #267976
    http://www.andreas-janssen.de/debian-tipps-sarge.html

  7. Re: Recommended Partitioning Scheme (/home)

    Andreas Janssen wrote:

    > You need a separate /boot partition outside of your LVM that includes


    What a pity. I was hopping to be able to use only one primary
    partition for Debian GNU/Linux, as I do with *BSD. Is that something
    which might change in the future (by including the means to access the
    LVM and a /boot partition inside it) or will we be stuck having to use
    at least two primary partitions for Debian?

    --
    Saludos,
    Angel

  8. Re: Recommended Partitioning Scheme (/home)

    Angel () wrote:
    > Andreas Janssen wrote:
    >
    >> You need a separate /boot partition outside of your LVM that includes

    >
    > What a pity. I was hopping to be able to use only one primary
    > partition for Debian GNU/Linux, as I do with *BSD. Is that something
    > which might change in the future (by including the means to access the
    > LVM and a /boot partition inside it) or will we be stuck having to use
    > at least two primary partitions for Debian?


    That is not a Linux problem, it is a bootloader problem. The bootloader
    needs to be able to access the kernel image and the initial ram disk,
    and as far as I know neither lilo or grub can do that on an LVM.

    By the way, you don't need any primary partitions, using one extended
    partition with two logical partitions containing /boot and the LVM also
    works.

    regards
    Andreas Janssen

    --
    Andreas Janssen
    PGP-Key-ID: 0xDC801674 ICQ #17079270
    Registered Linux User #267976
    http://www.andreas-janssen.de/debian-tipps-sarge.html

  9. Re: Recommended Partitioning Scheme (/home)

    Andreas Janssen wrote:
    > By the way, you don't need any primary partitions, using one extended
    > partition with two logical partitions containing /boot and the LVM also
    > works.


    Excellent! I never though trying it that way.
    That leaves me three primary partitions for Open, net and FreeBSD.

    Thanks!

    --
    Saludos,
    Angel

  10. Re: Recommended Partitioning Scheme (/home)

    Michael Fierro :
    > On 2007-04-22, Tim Johnson rambled on thusly:
    >
    > [snip]
    >
    > > Would it be advantageous to put /home on a separate partition, and if
    > > so, what size (as a percentage of 130 GIGs, one or possibly two users)?

    >
    > Remember that, even with today's monster apps for Linux, you won't need all
    > that much space for the OS + apps. My current setup is about 25gb. 8 of
    > that is for Ubuntu itself plus the apps I have installed, another 15 is
    > games that I've installed (Quake 4, Unreal Tournament, Neverwinter Nights).


    (0) heretic /home/keeling_ pydf
    Filesystem Size Used Avail Use% [ ] Mounted on
    /dev/hda5 186M 78M 98M 45.0 [#### ] /
    tmpfs 252M 0 252M 0.0 [ ] /dev/shm
    /dev/hda3 899M 640M 211M 75.0 [###### ] /home
    /dev/hda8 3437M 932M 2330M 29.0 [## ] /scratch
    /dev/hda2 2826M 1538M 1144M 57.0 [##### ] /usr
    /dev/hda6 899M 128M 722M 15.0 [# ] /var
    tmpfs 10M 752k 9488k 7.0 [# ] /dev

    That's a 10 Gb disk. I've plenty of space for my needs. 120 Gb split
    between both of your users sounds wretched excess..

    > Given your described usage, I wouldn't go much above 25gb for /, and use
    > the rest for /home.


    I prefer a more split up system. I've had /var fill up when it wasn't
    separate from /.


    --
    Any technology distinguishable from magic is insufficiently advanced.
    (*) http://www.spots.ab.ca/~keeling Linux Counter #80292
    - - http://www.faqs.org/rfcs/rfc1855.html Please, don't Cc: me.
    Spammers! http://www.spots.ab.ca/~keeling/emails.html

  11. Re: Recommended Partitioning Scheme (/home)

    On 2007-05-03, s. keeling rambled on thusly:

    [snip]

    > Filesystem Size Used Avail Use% [ ] Mounted on
    > /dev/hda3 899M 640M 211M 75.0 [###### ] /home


    I have a couple dozen files in /home/me that are more than 900mb each!

    > That's a 10 Gb disk. I've plenty of space for my needs. 120 Gb split
    > between both of your users sounds wretched excess..


    Depends on what you use your system for, mate. I tend to transfer a lot of
    video files off my TiVo and onto my main desktop, watch them there, and
    then either file them on my Debian server or delete them. At any time, I
    might have 50gb of video files on my desktop. I put the space to good use.


    > I prefer a more split up system. I've had /var fill up when it wasn't
    > separate from /.


    Back when drives were tiny, I agreed with you. Now that drives are selling
    for less than 50 cents a gig, which allows me to have 35gb free on
    the / partition, I don't worry 'bout it so much.

    --
    Michael Fierro (aka Biffster) biffster@NOSPAM-REALLYgmail.com
    http://apt-get.biffster.org Y!: miguelito_fierro AIM: mfierro1
    --
    "And they're all rated X. M O O N, that spells X." - Tom Cullen, The
    Stand

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